Guadeloupe on the way south - April

Mike and Liz Downing
Sat 18 Apr 2009 01:44
The passage from Montserrat started dead into wind so it was necessary to tack to get clear of the island. Once clear, the wind came round a little more towards the east and with full main and genoa up we made 6kts close hauled into the light winds of 8-12 kts. It was not possible to make the course we had planned (it generally never is - the wind rarely does what you hope it will do), but we were just happy to sail south just east of south and hope the wind changed latter in the day. It was a beautiful day with just a few fluffy clouds and in the light winds we were able to sit on the weather rail and dangle our feet over the side, with waves every now and again coming up to wash our feet. A very pleasant sail. As the day wore on the wind did behave itself and shifted to the east and then north of east which allowed a course to be set straight for Guadeloupe. Late afternoon the winds came up and it was time to reef again and we had a fast passage into Deshaies on the north west corner. The wind does funny things around the end of the islands and the boats at anchor in Deshaies were all facing the wrong way - out to sea (west). So we had to anchor the wrong way, but were fine, that is until another boat came in later on. They also had to anchor pointing out to sea, but got a bit too close to us and when we all swung the right way round (pointing east to the land) they ended up much too close and had to move. (Last in is always the first to move.) We stay just one night before moving on to Les Saintes, lying between Guadeloupe and Dominica.
A couple of sunsets at Deshaies.
The terrain at the south west corner of Guadeloupe heading for Les Saintes.